No.

Not all of them.

It's not that I don't believe in visual communications. After all, I am writing a blog titled "Talking Video". I just don't like the over-hyping our industry is going through with the economy downturn.

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A press release I bumped into the other day, about Siracom's UniData WiFi Videophone, set to launch at CeBIT (that's like yesterday), got me thinking --- What a cool idea!

We already have mobile phones with video telephony embedded into them. Many Smartphones today already support WiFi. And we also have a bunch of WiFi phones (mainly for enterprises). So why not a WiFi videophone?

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Do We Really Need a Set-top Box?

February 25, 2009 11:09 AM | 2 Comments
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Have you noticed this new trend of "connected TV"?

It showed up at CES in full force, with every TV manufacturer out there having its own version of a television that connects to the internet - showing YouTube videos, latest news, stock market tickers or even your collection of photos out of Flickr or Picasa.

Chris Albrecht at NeeTeeVee  questions this evolution step:

How much of the Internet do you want on your television?

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Video Roundup: Video Conferencing Hype

February 18, 2009 7:47 AM

I'll be placing here links once in a while of news items and blog posts that I find interesting and are related to visual communications.

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If you have items you'd like to feature here - just email me at tsahil@radvision.com.

Here's a first batch:

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I've meant to write about downloadable VoIP Clients for a long time now, but didn't quite know how to tackle the issue. I finally wrote about it on my VoIP Survivor blog, stating I don't see the value of having downloadable VoIP clients in mobile application stores. However, there's an additional aspect that needs to be tackled, and that is video.

I'll start by quoting Morten Hjerde on the fragmentation on development platforms:

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Apple is Patenting iContact

February 3, 2009 9:34 AM

If there's anything I like about Sagee it's the amount of interesting links he sends out on twitter (and via email).

Last week he sent this one out: apparently Apple has filed a patent on a camera that is "hidden" behind a display screen.

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If there's anything that makes video calling weird it's the fact that you simply can't keep eye contact.

Before you jump in with your hundreds-of-thousands-of-dollars worth telepresence conferencing system equipment, I ask you to think about people like me for a second.

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Andy Abramson stated recently, once again, that video conferencing will take off in 2009:

I've been saying that IP based video conferencing will be taking off in 2009 and it looks like I'm right with that prediction.

NASA and Verizon have reworked their agreements and now will have IP based video and web conferencing supplied by the Baby Bell.
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I must say that I believe Andy is correct. It was not that apparent at CES that video is happening, but it was there - in the fringes.

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Where Was Video Calling at CES?

January 21, 2009 2:24 PM | 1 Comment

Now that CES is over and most of the other bloggers out there have wrapped it up and moved on, it is time for me to look back and ask where was video calling at CES?

Video conferencing is an enterprise thing: it fits large international organizations with multiple sites around the globe. With expensive systems, high bandwidth needs and complex management, this is how it is viewed today.

Now this is changing, and some of the indications of this change were visible at CES.

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The NAKED Truth About Video Conferencing

January 19, 2009 2:39 PM

They call it talking heads for a reason.

Video chat will never be the same for me.

Found this one at Carl Tyler's blog.

Have you noticed how video is getting bigger and smaller at the same time?

I'll start with an apology - I am living in Israel, where we enjoy those cool electronic appliances that the world is then offered a few years later.

About six years ago, when I moved with my wife and dog from our rented apartment to an apartment of our own, I decided to invest a decent amount of money in to a bigger television set, throwing out that old 25" inch TV for a 32" TV. Today, that seems pathetic.

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Carnival of the Mobilists at Wap Review

January 14, 2009 11:19 AM
Just a quick note - my post from last week about video calling and mobile is taking part of the Carnival of the Mobilists which is hosted this week at Wap Review.
Head over there to get some more posts from last week related to mobile.

There are those who believe that Mobile VoIP is the next best thing, or is the current big thing. Some even take it to the extreme, thinking mobile video chat is going to hit next and will cause the usage of video calling to increase. I am not one of them.

Mobile video calling has so many problems that need to be fixed and it's going to take more than this year to overcome them.

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I really wanted to write a prediction post for 2009 on the last day of 2008, but what would I write about? That video telephony is going to happen, Jajah's CTO Amichay already stated that.

So, I was more than happy when this dropped into my lap through my beloved inbox (thanks for this one Sagee!).

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Video is all the rage these days, and 2008 as a whole was a very good year for video. We've had Hulu's public launch, YouTube moving to HD, Flickr! adding video and a whole lot more.

Add to that the move of blogging and microblogging heading towards video, and you get a picture of how video is taking over the web:

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Last week I had an interesting conversation with a colleague of mine at work. It was around the chances of success for point-to-point video telephony.

Point-to-point video telephony means two people talking to each other using a video call. This is sometimes referred to as "talking heads", as what you usually see is a head talking.

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